“The evidence is overwhelming—the solutions devised by small-scale food producers and Indigenous peoples not only feed the world, but also advance gender, social, economic justice, youth empowerment, workers’ rights, and real resilience to crises. Why are policymakers not listening to them and providing them with adequate support?”
—SHALMALI GUTTAL, FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL SOUTH
World hunger is on the rise—783 million people worldwide don’t know where they will get their next meal. The climate crisis, ongoing conflicts, financial speculation, and high prices driven by corporate profit-seeking are key contributors to rising world hunger. In a July press conference, representatives from the People’s Autonomous Response (with over 1,000 signatories) to the UN Food Systems Summit highlighted the urgent, coordinated actions needed to overcome the global hunger crisis and address the human right to food.
Unfortunately, the corporate capture of the UN Food Systems Summit continues to prioritize silver bullet “solutions” led by industry giants rather than the proven-effective methods led by those who face the brunt of food and agriculture-related problems. Small farmers and Indigenous peoples have centuries of knowledge from which to create real solutions to the climate crisis and food insecurity.
The movements and organizations opposing the Summit call for an urgent shift away from corporate-driven industrial models and towards biodiverse, agroecological, community-led food systems that prioritize the public interest over profit-making. Communities on the frontlines of intersecting crises are already leading the way for food systems change and should be centered in, and lead, all discussions and efforts to reduce hunger worldwide and change how food is produced and distributed.
Perla Álvarez of La Via Campesina, one of the signatories to the People’s Declaration, urges the UN to “change direction and support our demands and efforts for a food sovereign future based on human rights and the principles of agroecology, care, justice, diversity, solidarity and accountability.”
In community and solidarity,
Tiffani, Tanya, and Christina
Featured image: The international peasant confederation La Vía Campesina is one of the 1,000+ signatories to the Autonomous People’s Response to the UNFSS.
This editorial was Adapted from Food Systems 4 People’s July 13th press release.